Cardinal’s (Ironic) Tweet: Catholics Shouldn’t Complain On Social Media! 

From De Omnibus Dubitandum Est blog…

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Gerard Cardinal Nichols took to Twitter recently to berate Catholics who use the internet for the “bitterness, tittle-tattle, hostility and false witness that floods the digital world.”

Linking to a homily the Cardinal delivered at the Venerable English College in Rome on the 21st October 2018, he suggested “those who contribute” include “priests and deacons.”
“How easily the internet reduces us to digital tribes, engaged in a kind of bitter conflict which somehow seems acceptable because it is ‘out there’ somewhere. Even if we do not contribute, and sometimes we are worse than others, far too easily we amuse ourselves at the discomfort of others.”

The Cardinal said. And he has a point. But if “priests and Deacons” are among those who feel they have no alternative but to speak out, one can only, surely, conclude that our unity is under a massive attack. It is not hard to see that is clearly the case or to see why and how it is under attack.

When cardinals and bishops fail to speak up for Christ, someone has got to.

However, it is difficult not to see this as a direct comment on the discussion which has surrounded the deeply controversial Youth Synod (now being termed “the smuggler synod because of various nefarious interventions), which the Cardinal directly references at the beginning of his homily.

The Synod has promoted numerous problematic directions, as has been widely reported, and where there is controversy, there is inevitably discussion.

The same can be said of Cardinal Nichols himself, to the point where many faithful English & Welsh Catholics reading his tweets felt the need to comment on his questionable record; just look at the replies on Twitter.

I find it really difficult to understand why the Cardinal’s objective failure to hold to and transmit the Gospel message he is commissioned to does not, in his mind, constitute a disfigurement of the face of Christ, whilst faithful Catholics voicing legitimate concerns does?

Would you like some evidence?  Click here to find it…

Comment:

Cardinal Nichols is one of those members of the Hierarchy who appears to consider critics – however tactful, however, charitable in “tone” when they write to him – to be disreputable persons, low-life, of no importance, not worth bothering about, which would explain why, generally speaking he doesn’t reply to anyone who dares to question anything he says or does. Like his support for the Soho Masses, for example.  You don’t like it? Tough…  seems to be his attitude. 

It’s hardly surprising, then, that he objects to such low-life (I count myself as such – I’ve written to him with no reply to show for my trouble) having a voice where our uncensored observations and concerns may be published.

My response on reading his tweets, then,  was “too bad, Eminence… too (blankey blank) bad.  Maybe if you and your brother bishops answered our letters of concern, we wouldn’t need to use social media….  

What’s your response?

Or, to be fair [gritted teeth] does he have a point?  

25/10: Feast of the 40 Martyrs of England & Wales… So what? 

After King Henry VIII proclaimed himself supreme head of the Church in England and Wales, a violent wave of anti-Catholic persecution began – and lasted over a century. It started with the executions of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, but didn’t end there. Hundreds were killed between 1535 and 1679; the Church recognized the heroism of 40 martyrs from England and Wales in a canonization ceremony on October 25, 1970. (Later, a separate feast on May 4 was created to recognize the 284 canonized or beatified martyrs of the English Reformation.)

The group of 40 martyrs celebrated on October 25 contains a variety of Catholics. The group is composed of “13 priests of the secular clergy, three Benedictines, three Carthusians, one Brigittine, two Franciscans, one Augustinian, 10 Jesuits and seven members of the laity, including three mothers.”

The martyrs were gruesomely tortured before being hanged or killed, but remained steadfast in their faith, refusing to renounce their Catholicism.

Many of the saints were jovial at the prospect of death.

Cuthbert Mayne, a secular priest, replied to a gaoler who came to tell him he would be executed three days later: “I wish I had something valuable to give you, for the good news you bring me…”  Edmund Campion, a Jesuit, was so pleased when taken to the place of execution that the people said about him and his companions: “But they’re laughing! He doesn’t care at all about dying…”

One striking story of heroism under extreme torture comes from the martyrdom of a laywoman, Margaret Clitherow.

She was accused “of having sheltered the Jesuits and priests of the secular clergy, traitors to Her Majesty the Queen”; but she retorted: “I have only helped the Queen’s friends” … On Friday March 25th, 1588, at eight o’clock in the morning, Margaret, just thirty-three years old, left Ouse Bridge prison, barefooted, bound for Toll Booth … Her arms were stretched out in the shape of a cross, and her hands tightly bound to two stakes in the ground. The executioners put a sharp stone the size of a fist under her back and placed on her body a large slab onto which weights were gradually loaded up to over 800 pounds. Margaret whispered: “Jesus, have mercy on me.” Her death agony lasted for fifteen minutes, then the moaning ceased, and all was quiet.

Their resolve in the face of certain death is inspiring. They show us that our life on earth is indeed very short and what truly matters is our faithfulness to God. As St. Thomas More famously said: “I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.”

Here is a list of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, whom we can invoke for their intercession in whatever persecution we may be enduring.

St. John Almond
St. Edmund Arrowsmith
St. Ambrose Barlow
St. John Boste
St. Alexander Briant
St. Edmund Campion
St. Margaret Clitherow
St. Philip Evans
St. Thomas Garnet
St. Edmund Gennings
St. Richard Gwyn
St. John Houghton
St. Philip Howard
St. John Jones
St. John Kemble
St. Luke Kirby
St. Robert Lawrence
St. David Lewis
St. Anne Line
St. John Lloyd
St. Cuthbert Mayne
St. Henry Morse
St. Nicholas Owen
St. John Payne
St. Polydore Plasden
St. John Plessington
St. Richard Reynolds
St. John Rigby
St. John Roberts
St. Alban Roe
St. Ralph Sherwin
St. Robert Southwell
St. John Southworth
St. John Stone
St. John Wall
St. Henry Walpole
St. Margaret Ward
St. Augustine Webster
St. Swithun Wells
St. Eustace White         Source 

Comment: 

So?  Our nearest cousins will be celebrating the Feast of the 40 martyrs of England & Wales on Thursday next, 25 October. So?  They suffered and died for the Faith during the Reformation – centuries ago.  What – if anything – do they have to teach us, today?  We’ve moved on from those days, when people were tortured and killed for their beliefs. We’re ecumenical now, we’re tolerant, we embrace equality and diversity… What on earth do medieval martyrs have to teach us enlightened folk today…  Shouldn’t the Feast days of martyrs be removed form the calendar, as a goodwill gesture, in the name of ecumenical progress?  Seriously?  Or, should that be “satirically”…  😀

The question for discussion really has to be: what is the most important thing the martyrs have to teach us all – north and south of the English border in this modern age? And if you have a particular favourite saint among the 40 martyrs, share that with us…

Priest’s Open Letter To UK Bishops…

Father David Marsden SCJ has kindly granted permission for us to publish his powerful Open Letter to the Bishops of the UK on the subject of seminary formation…
Father was forced to resign from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth  and, two years on, he has now been fired from St. Mary’s College, Oscott (Birmingham, England).  Read on to find out why…

Dear Bishops,

Like countless faithful Catholics around the world, I am sure many of you have been shocked and sickened by the recent scandals committed by the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Further suffering is being inflicted by the silence of other cardinals and bishops who knew about his behavior and said nothing — and indeed continue to say nothing. In light of the explosive report by Archbishop Viganò, it becomes even more apparent that the homosexual cabal operating in the Catholic Church exists at the very highest level and even incriminates Pope Francis himself.

I hope and pray that the action of the Holy Spirit is now beginning to purify the hierarchy by exposing the evil committed by homosexual clergy around the world. I feel it is my duty to now inform you and faithful Catholics that the homosexual collective within the hierarchy which enabled McCarrick to function in an unobstructed manner is still alive and well today in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Towards the end of May 2018, I was dismissed from my post as formation tutor at St. Mary’s College, Oscott by the rector, Canon David Oakley. The reason for this was that I recommended that an openly gay seminarian discontinue the program of formation. Clearly, as an openly gay man, there was no hope of him being ordained. David Oakely informed me that his bishop was “adamant” that his student was staying in formation and that this was not how he and a number of bishops interpreted the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

In light of the McCarrick scandal and the Viganò report, it has become very clear that cardinals, bishops and senior clergy from around the world are still openly dissenting against the Church’s teaching that prohibits the entrance into seminary formation of men with a homosexual orientation. This is the root cause of the most pressing scandal of our times. In fact, it is destroying the priesthood from within.

Apparently, the policy in Oscott appears to be if a candidate is not “acting out” his homosexual tendencies at the moment or behaving in an inappropriately “camp” way, then he is free to follow the formation program and move towards holy orders. The rector will not dismiss a candidate from the seminary who admits to being “gay” out of fear that his bishop will not agree with his decision. The problem, therefore, quietly continues.

This approach is clearly ignoring the Church’s teaching on this vital issue, yet for some strange reason, bishops are still not being made accountable for disregarding this important instruction. Whilst the teaching is clear, the practice in so many dioceses is deeply compromised. Can I make a huge plea that something be done about this widespread abuse?

I can also state that two of the spiritual directors in the seminary are very compromised on the issue of homosexuality — one individual admitting to me his own gender identity is very confused and the other openly stated that homosexual priests are a good idea as they are better able to minister effectively to homosexual Catholics! Neither would adhere to Church’s teaching and acknowledge that a key part of their role as spiritual contained the “duty to dissuade (a homosexual person) in conscience from proceeding towards ordination.”

I am writing to you all with a petition to act and take the necessary steps to reform the three remaining seminaries in England. The orthodox and heterosexual seminarians deserve a seminary free from a gay subculture and free from academic and formation staff who are homosexual themselves.

For the sake of brevity, I will summarise my findings from the year I spent working in the seminary:

1. The problem begins at St. Luke’s Institute in Manchester where a number of seminarians are asked to undergo a psychological assessment as part of the selection policy. The director of the institute, Fr. Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne, has some very strange views on homosexuality himself and seems happy to admit homosexual men into the formation program. This is a problem that the bishop of Salford needs to address.

2. Canon David Oakley is prepared to admit homosexual men into his seminary and will not dismiss them unless their public conduct becomes unsavory. He is a compromised and cowardly man who is not prepared to make a stand and disagree with the bishops on the issue of homosexuality.

3. A number of bishops from England and Wales are happy to admit seminarians who are openly gay into the formation program and proceed towards ordination. The bishop of Menevia is one such example.

4. One of the spiritual directors at Oscott Seminary has admitted to being sexually attracted to young men. It is highly inappropriate that such an individual hold such a post. The rector is aware of this fact but seems unable to confront this individual. He even noted that the friends who accompany this individual for holidays each year are also homosexual. Another of the spiritual directors in the seminary thinks that homosexual priests are a great idea as they can minister to the gay Catholic community.

5. The archbishop of Birmingham and the archbishop of Westminster have both been informed of these issues and seem to prefer to ignore them. Why do we continue to have such passive and feeble-hearted clerics in such high places of leadership in the Church? Why are they afraid to speak out on topics such as homosexuality in the clergy and the toxic gender ideology sweeping through our schools?

These are not only facts but shocking allegations against the present life of the seminary in Birmingham. Action needs to be taken to address the homosexual culture in the Church’s hierarchy. Scandals like those of Theodore McCarrick and Cardinal Keith O’Brien are just waiting to happen. The normal, heterosexual students in Oscott demand that the homosexual clique in the seminary be dismissed and that the homosexual or bisexual staff members be dismissed also.

I was fired from the college for striving to uphold the Church’s teaching on homosexuality which is a grave injustice to me personally. It is extraordinary to think that I was asked by the rector to make a public oath of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church at the beginning of the academic year. It is my fidelity to that oath that has cost me my job and deprived the seminarians of the only qualified formator in the seminary.

In the summer of 2016, I was forced to resign from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth because they were ordaining openly homosexual men to the priesthood, and two years later I have been fired from St. Mary’s College, Oscott for stating that homosexual men are not to be admitted to seminary formation and priesthood.

We are surely living through dark times for the Catholic Church. Are there any good bishops left who are brave enough to begin the wholesale reform of the priesthood that is so badly needed?

With every blessing in Christ,

Father David Marsden, S.C.J.
Former Formation Tutor

Comment:

Catholic Truth warmly commends Father Marsden for his excellent letter to the Bishops.  We pray that some, at least, actively respond to it.

What do you think… will any Bishops (even one) – pay heed?  

Clergy/Hierarchy Abuse Scandal: UK Braced As English Cardinal Implicated

Extracts below from LifeSiteNews bombshell report:  Pope blocked investigation of abuse allegations against cardinal who helped elect him

Pope Francis embracing Cardinal, Murphy-O’Connor

September 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis told Cardinal Gerhard Müller in 2013 to stop investigating abuse allegations against British Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, according to a highly-placed Vatican source who spoke to Marco Tossati [well-known Italian journalist and Vatican expert.] Murphy-O’Connor, as a member of the “Sankt [St.] Gallen mafia,” played a pivotal role in getting Jorge Bergoglio elected Pope in 2013.

A source from England with inside knowledge of the case told LifeSiteNews that a woman alleges the cardinal had himself been involved in abusing her when she was 13 or 14 years old and that she was the reason for the investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Tosatti had previously revealed what he learned in September 2013 from a high-ranking Vatican source – “an extremely good source, who was then in the government of the Curia,” and he adds that his source has “learned [it] from those directly concerned.” – that Cardinal Müller, then Prefect of the CDF, was interrupted by the Pope while saying Mass at the Church of Santa Monica (next to the CDF building) for a small group of German students. But now Tosatti reveals that the reason for the interruption was to demand that an investigation into Cardinal O’Connor be halted.

As Tosatti puts it in an article for First Things last year: His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders about a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal.

After hearing this story as related by Marco Tosatti, LifeSiteNews reached out to a reliable source from England who is very well informed about exactly that same lady who had been accusing the English cardinal. According to this English source, the lady has never gone public with her charges. But she has been in contact with Church authorities for about 15 years now, without ever having received a thorough investigation of her claims. This lady is already an acknowledged abuse victim, having received a settlement from the Archdiocese. She had been abused, when she was 13 or 14 years of age, by Father Michael Hill.

The pedophile Father Hill was imprisoned for five years in 2002 for abusing three minor children between 10 and 14. He had previously been imprisoned, in 1997, also for abusing children. He is thought to have attacked about 30 boys between his ordination in 1960 and the late 1980s. As The Guardian put it at the time: “His case is particularly notorious because the church’s leader, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, gave him a post despite warnings that he had abused young boys.” Hill had been moved to different parishes, in spite of the ongoing complaints of parents. Finally he underwent therapy in the 1980s.

The lady who accused Murphy-O’Connor himself of abuse, claims that when Hill abused her in the late 1960s, there were several other priests present and involved. She claims that Murphy-O’Connor was among them. She, who then lived in what is now the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, had entered in the early 2000s into an agreement with the Diocese and received £40,000 payment for the abuse of Father Hill.

Murphy-O’Connor had been the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton from 1977 until 2000, when he was appointed Archbishop of Westminster. He was also a member of the Sankt Gallen Group that tried to get Jorge Bergoglio elected, first in the 2005 conclave, and then again in 2013.

The story of the female victim of abuse is a story of delayed justice and denial of due process. Since she now lives in the Diocese of Portsmouth, she started to express her accusations to Church officials there. But sometime between 2009 and 2010, she also contacted the Archdiocese of Westminster with her allegations. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who has been Archbishop of Westminster since 2009 – and thus the successor of Murphy-O’Connor – refused to investigate the matter.

When Murphy-O’Connor was asked, in 2010, by Pope Benedict XVI to be the head of the Apostolic Visitation to Ireland in order to examine the abuse crisis there, people in the Diocese of Portsmouth were concerned that the abuse allegations against Murphy-O’Connor would then come to light and destroy the credibility of the Apostolic Visitation.

Similar to McCarrick, Murphy-O’Connor is known to have later speciously shown himself to the public as being a hardliner with regard to abuse cases. “Roman Catholic (sic)  bishops found to be flouting the new guidelines on child protection will be held to account, or expected to resign,” is the headline of a 2003 article quoting Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. However, as with the McCarrick case in the U.S., the truth is now gaining upon the Church’s hierarchy that has been evasively looking the other way.

In England, there is currently a government-commissioned independent investigation into all sex abuse cases in society, to include those in the Catholic Church. This investigation has the legal power to compel the production of evidence. For this investigation, a so-called “Truth Project” has been set up, whereby victims of sexual abuse of minors may now come and relate their story.

Our source tells us this female victim may have contacted that same Truth Project, since several weeks ago, the investigators requested the Archdiocese of Westminster the release of all the files pertaining to allegations against Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.

It would be important now that four dioceses release their files to the Truth Project concerning this woman’s case: Arundel and Brighton; Westminster; Portsmouth, and Northampton (which submitted the case to the CDF, together with Portsmouth). Bishop John Arnold (now of Salford), who was at the time involved in refusing to investigate the case in Westminster, should also release his files.

Thus, as it seems, the Catholic Church is now sitting upon a ticking time bomb. And on top of that time bomb sits Pope Francis.

This report was consciously published on September 24, the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham – Patroness of the Catholic Church in England – and on the day of the beginning of the English bishops’ Ad Limina visit to Rome.  [Emphases added].   Source – to read entire report click here

Comment: 

There’s really nothing to add to the above report except to note that, as we have said for years in our newsletter, when bishops cover up or make excuses for  priests causing scandal, in various ways – as did our Cardinal O’Brien RIP in response to our reports and letters about dissident Edinburgh clergy attacking the Faith and morals in newspapers and through the broadcasting media – there has to be a reason. And the reason – we frequently hinted – has to be something very serious.

So, nobody should be surprised at these latest revelations. I’ve never written to Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor but I have written to other members of the English (Scottish and Irish) Hierarchy, all to no avail.  We’re watching, therefore, with interest as this latest scandal unfolds, and can’t help but wonder if our observations will prove accurate in other cases… both north and south of the border and across the Irish Sea.  Will we find even more chickens coming home to roost?  Let’s watch and pray, especially for the Consecration of Russia, because, until that happens, these scandals will continue and worsen.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!  

English Bishop to Pope Francis on Child Abuse: Accountability & Supervision Required For Priests… 

Letter of Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth (pictured below)
to His Holiness Pope Francis

22nd August 2018

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
Vatican City


Most Holy Father,


I am writing in the light of the terrible scandals of the abuse of minors by clergy revealed by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. To these can be added the scandals in Chile, Australia, Ireland and now here in England too, in light of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse. Clerical sex abuse seems to be a world-wide phenomenon in the Church. As a Catholic and a Bishop, these revelations fill me with deep sorrow and shame. I pray for the healing of the poor victims. I pray for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. I pray too for myself, and for all our clergy and people, that by our penance we will grow in holiness.

I wanted to make a constructive suggestion. Would it be possible to call an Extraordinary Synod on the Life and Ministry of Clergy? The Synod might begin with a ‘congress,’ attended by the bishops but formed of laity and others expert in the clergy abuse scandals and in the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable. The fruits of this could then be taken forward into a Synod of Bishops proper. I suggest the Synod be devoted to the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision. Canon Law could then be revised in the light of the outcomes and each Diocese be required to apply it by developing its own Directory for Clergy.

As a Bishop, I seem to have few tools to facilitate the day to day management of clergy. For example, when I was a seminary formator, we spent several years devising a balanced system of annual assessments and scrutiny, based on Pastores Dabo Vobis, to help an individual student take responsibility for his formation. By contrast, once ordained, priests/bishops have few formal ongoing assessments or ministerial supervision. It ought to be possible to devise mechanisms to help bishops in their responsibilities towards clergy and to help clergy realise they are not ‘lone operatives’ but ministers accountable to the direction and leadership of the diocese – nihil sine episcopo.

Most Holy Father, please be assured of my prayers for you in your daunting ministry. I look forward to meeting you soon for the Ad Limina.

In Corde Iesu

+Philip

Bishop of Portsmouth

Read report appending the above letter here

Comment

Bishop Egan’s initiative is to be warmly welcomed.  At last a prelate showing the need for practical steps to end this scandal of clerical sexual abuse of young people.  Will the Pope take up his suggestion though?  And what sorts of “mechanism” and “rule of life” would YOU like to see adopted for priests?  How might priests react to the introduction of measures of accountability and supervision, having become used to the kind of laxity we have seen in the seminaries (none left in Scotland, as a result) and in their priestly lifestyle.  They seem to be a law unto themselves at the moment.  How might they react to restrictions being imposed on them now? Is it too late? Or,  as the saying goes, is it never too late?  

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven,      pray for us! 

English Bishop Outed as LGBT Supporter: Speaker at Quest Conference

Bishop Doyle of Northampton was featured with a list of known “gay” activists to speak at a Quest Conference, 10th – 12th August 2018.  Click on the image for details. 

Don’t be misled by the “Pastoral Support for LGBTI Catholics” baloney. The members of Quest are Catholics who fit the Vatican’s 1986 warning, perfectly.  In his Letter to the Bishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, the then Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI writes:

14. …this Congregation wishes to ask the Bishops to be especially cautious of any programmes which may seek to pressure the Church to change her teaching, even while claiming not to do so. A careful examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a studied ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful. For example, they may present the teaching of the Magisterium, but only as if it were an optional source for the formation of one’s conscience. Its specific authority is not recognized. Some of these groups will use the word “Catholic” to describe either the organization or its intended members, yet they do not defend and promote the teaching of the Magisterium; indeed, they even openly attack it. While their members may claim a desire to conform their lives to the teaching of Jesus, in fact they abandon the teaching of his Church. This contradictory action should not have the support of the Bishops in any way.
15. We encourage the Bishops, then, to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church for homosexual persons of their dioceses. No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin. We would heartily encourage programmes where these dangers are avoided. But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve. Click here to read entire Letter to the Bishops on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons

Comments invited…     

Is the UK no longer free? 

The treatment of Tommy Robinson, coupled with the contrived outrage over Boris Johnson’s ‘burka’ remarks this week, do beg the question: is Tucker Carlson right to question whether, in fact, the UK really is a free land?   And why are the Catholic bishops not asking the same question? 

Comments invited…